Monday, December 20, 2010

OK Go on the Future of the Music Industry

Longtime readers know that we're fans of the band OK Go and their crazy one-take videos. This weekend, lead singer Damian Kulash had a thought-provoking piece for the WSJ on the future of the music industry...and how it will be key to have corporate sponsors underwrite content generation (link may be insider only; I'm not sure):

My rock band has leapt across treadmills, camouflaged ourselves in wallpaper, performed with the Notre Dame marching band, danced with a dozen trained dogs, made an animation with 2,300 pieces of toast, crammed a day-long continuous shot into 4½ minutes and built the first ever Rube Goldberg machine—at least that we know of—to operate in time to music. We are known for our music videos, which we make with the same passion and perseverance we do our songs. Our videos have combined views in excess of 120 million on YouTube alone, with countless millions more from television and repostings all over the Internet.

For most people, the obvious question is: Has this helped sell records? The quick answer is yes. We've sold more than 600,000 records over the last decade. But the more relevant answer is that doesn't really matter. A half a million records is nothing to shake a stick at, but it's the online statistics that set the tone of our business and, ultimately, the size of our income.

We once relied on investment and support from a major label. Now we make a comparable living raising money directly from fans and through licensing and sponsorship. Our bank accounts don't rival Lady Gaga's, but we've got more creative freedom than we did as small fish in her pond.

I was not aware that Land Rover, Samsung, and State Farm all helped sponsor/fund OK Go's antics. Hmm, maybe we should think about that as a new revenue model for 2011...any of you readers have ideas as to whom we should solicit?

photo: Daryl Peveto/Luceo for The Wall Street Journal


Neeebs (The Original) said...


Fred's Brim said...

I am a fan of the Christmas carol Hyundai ads with Pomplamoose. I am sure that corporate relationship has boosted them quite a bit this merry xmas season.

ahh the sliding scale of No Sell Out

Fred's Brim said...

I had Chipotle for lunch. They loaded on the carnitas today. Merry Christmas to me!

spank said...

Your(everybody's)local liquor store.